Some New Mandala readers (including Tosakan and Srithanonchai) have already made comments on a recent The Nation opinion piece. For those who may have missed it, I have excerpted some key sections from the original article:

Bangkok was supposed to host what would have been the first World Moral Forum earlier this month, but unfortunately the New Year’s Eve bombings prompted the organisers to postpone the event to early next year.

The theme of the cancelled March 2 forum, which would have been co-hosted by the Education Ministry, Unesco and the International Buddhist Society, was “Parallel Development for a Balanced Life”…

…The World Moral Forum would have aimed to explore the path towards achieving the balance among four key areas of development: physical, mental, spiritual and moral.

His Majesty the King’s initiatives on the sufficiency economy model would also have figured prominently in the forum, as the philosophy espouses a holistic model of development that has attracted a lot of interest worldwide.

Last year, HM the King was awarded the United Nation’s first Human Development Award for his development work over the past several decades.

Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, president of the Zambuling Institute for Human Transformation, which supports the forum, says several advanced Western economies are materially rich but spiritually poor.

On the other hand, countries like Bhutan are regarded as having a lot of spiritual wealth, even though they may not be materially rich.

– Excerpted from Nophakhun Limsamarnphun, “A holistic approach to the development of human societies“, The Nation, 11 March 2007. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the interesting comments, including those from Tosakan and Srithanonchai.